Managing Expectations: The Reality of Recruitment

Managing Expectations: The Reality of Recruitment

As a recruiter, I hate it when the person I assumed would land the role doesn’t get it. Early in my career, it was far more devastating than it is now. Not because I am numb to it, but because I understand a bit more now that we are dealing with the extremely subjective nature of human beings.

The candidate may have had an off day. They might not have shown up the way they would have if they had gotten more sleep or didn’t have a big meeting right after the interview.

The client may have been a bit off because they were distracted and trying not to worry about the layoffs that just happened earlier in the day. They have been doing interviews for weeks, and now that the layoffs are happening at the same time they are hiring, how will that come across to potential candidates?

The candidate might be great. The client might be amazing to work for, but neither saw the other at their best, and therefore it is a swing and a miss.

I suspect this is one of the biggest reasons that recruiters leave the industry. They may not understand that this is an extremely unfortunate fact in our world. People don’t always present themselves as well as they could to each other. We do it all day long with each other, and we don’t always have the added pressure of hiring or looking for a job.

What is the solution? There is no “single” solution, rather a few things that each party can do to help better their chances.

As a candidate:

  • Make sure that the time you have selected to interview (typically, you are given options) is one that you can clear on your calendar of any added stresses.
  • Prepare for the meeting by doing research on the company (know who they are, what their core business is, and how they make money), know who the people who will be interviewing are, to the degree that is shared – look them up on LinkedIn.
  • Have the job description in front of you and be ready to share why you believe you are a good fit for it.
  • Have your resume in front of you and be prepared to walk the interviewer through it.

As an interviewer:

  • Be prepared to field questions from the candidate and always leave plenty of time for that.
  • Don’t assume that everyone wants to work there.
  • Don’t assume that what the candidate has always done is what the candidate always wants to do.
  • Check your biases and check them frequently. Ask others to join you if you think you can’t, and when that person shares their insight, go into active listening mode.
  • Be honest. If you know your GlassDoor reviews suck, everyone else likely does as well. Talk about what you are specifically doing to address the issues and how this new person can help in that effort as well.

Recruiters will continue to hate it when people don’t get hired, but there are things within the control of the other two interested parties that can make life a whole lot easier for everyone involved in the hiring process.

Allen Plunkett, President & CEO of Phoenix Staff


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